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Stacey Abrams wins historic nomination for Georgia Gov

If she wins in November, she will be the first black female governor in the United States.

Posted: May 24, 2018 5:26 AM
Updated: May 24, 2018 5:26 AM

Stacey Abrams made history Tuesday night by being the nation's first black woman nominated for governor by a major political party. She also upended Georgia's conventional wisdom about minority candidates.

If there was a conception that African-Americans will have trouble winning primaries in areas without many minorities, Abrams shattered it; she won everywhere and by huge margins.

In fact, out of Georgia's 159 counties, she won all but 6 of them, besting rival Stacey Evans in many white enclaves across the state.

Particularly notable is Abrams' resounding victory in Atlanta-area Forsyth County, which was considered hostile to African Americans for nearly a century. Before some recent changes, it was referred to for years by area residents, and virtually was, a whites-only county.

As recently as 1990, 14 black residents lived in Forsyth County.

But on Tuesday, Abrams carried 63 percent of the vote, out of about 6,300 Democratic votes cast (the county was among the top 20 of 159 for Democratic primary turnout in Georgia.)

The sin of Forsyth County's purge dates back nearly 100 years to 1912. That year, the county's black population, about 1,000 people at the time, were driven out altogether after what was essentially a white riot. A young white woman had been murdered. One of the black men accused of the crime was beaten and lynched. Widespread attacks and burning of African American homes across the county followed.

The horrible episode was documented by Patrick Phillips, who grew up there and called it a "racial cleansing" in his book Blood at the Root.

"You know, this is -- was not unique to Forsyth that there was an attempt at racial cleansing. What's really unique to Forsyth is that it's a place where it succeeded and that effort was successful for, you know, almost 100 years. It was still a, quote, unquote, "white county" when I was growing up there in the '70s and '80s. And it really in some ways - I mean, in the book, there's a flashpoint in 1912," Phillips told NPR in 2016.

In the late 1990s and into the new century, the picture slowly began to change, but black residents remained a slim minority. The last complete Census in 2010 shows that only 4,510 African Americans lived in the county, out of more than 175,000 people.

Forsyth has tried to shed its racist past in recent years, and to some extent has succeeded in making minority populations more welcome. In 2016, a black Democratic candidate even ran for state senate and garnered 22% of the vote against the heavily favored Republican on Election day. It is unlikely that Abrams will do much better when voters choose their next governor in November.

President Donald J. Trump won the county by a huge margin that year, with 75% of the vote to Hillary Clinton's 25%. There were about 6,300 people who voted in the Democratic primary Tuesday night. Closer to 19,000 voted in the Republican primary. Clearly, it remains a Republican stronghold.

But Abrams' resounding victory in Forsyth -- even though just among Democrats -- could be a harbinger of a more broader appeal. November, of course, will tell us just how much.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 612701

Reported Deaths: 7761
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1270801803
Ramsey53350911
Dakota47466477
Anoka43482465
Washington27810296
Stearns22764227
St. Louis18353320
Scott17763139
Wright16615153
Olmsted13587104
Sherburne1218596
Carver1080349
Clay830792
Rice8300112
Blue Earth772844
Crow Wing691799
Kandiyohi673185
Chisago629955
Otter Tail592687
Benton588298
Goodhue487674
Douglas480881
Mower478834
Winona466452
Itasca463968
Isanti447567
McLeod436661
Morrison429562
Beltrami411863
Nobles411750
Steele401819
Polk391372
Becker390057
Lyon366454
Carlton357158
Freeborn353634
Pine338123
Nicollet335145
Mille Lacs316856
Brown309340
Le Sueur301228
Todd289633
Cass289133
Meeker267644
Waseca241823
Martin237633
Roseau212921
Wabasha20883
Hubbard198941
Dodge19173
Renville184246
Redwood178941
Houston176516
Cottonwood168224
Wadena165323
Fillmore160510
Faribault157820
Chippewa154438
Pennington154120
Kanabec148128
Sibley147710
Aitkin140237
Watonwan13629
Rock129919
Jackson123212
Pipestone117326
Yellow Medicine115620
Pope11416
Murray107710
Swift107718
Koochiching96919
Stevens92711
Clearwater89517
Marshall89017
Lake85121
Wilkin84613
Lac qui Parle76222
Big Stone6134
Grant5958
Lincoln5873
Mahnomen5669
Norman5519
Kittson49222
Unassigned49093
Red Lake4037
Traverse3835
Lake of the Woods3504
Cook1740

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 376815

Reported Deaths: 6122
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk59215646
Linn21567342
Scott20530250
Black Hawk16850320
Woodbury15378230
Johnson1479586
Dubuque13627215
Dallas1150699
Pottawattamie11393177
Story1092548
Warren594392
Clinton565894
Cerro Gordo564898
Webster546397
Sioux520574
Muscatine4956106
Marshall493679
Des Moines481776
Jasper454273
Wapello4402124
Buena Vista432340
Plymouth405782
Lee396958
Marion372378
Henry301737
Jones301357
Bremer294663
Carroll287252
Boone273735
Crawford273541
Benton264255
Washington261051
Dickinson251145
Mahaska235151
Jackson225943
Kossuth222166
Clay217927
Tama213872
Delaware213343
Winneshiek201337
Buchanan197834
Page195722
Cedar194323
Hardin192544
Wright191240
Hamilton189251
Fayette188943
Harrison182873
Clayton173258
Butler169135
Madison168019
Floyd165242
Mills164724
Cherokee162238
Lyon161241
Poweshiek159836
Allamakee156452
Hancock154034
Iowa149124
Winnebago147031
Calhoun144813
Cass142155
Grundy139733
Emmet137341
Jefferson135535
Sac133320
Shelby132238
Louisa130749
Union129535
Franklin129223
Appanoose128749
Mitchell127343
Chickasaw126017
Humboldt126026
Guthrie125332
Palo Alto115224
Montgomery106938
Howard105522
Clarke102624
Monroe101533
Keokuk100432
Ida93735
Adair90132
Davis88525
Pocahontas87022
Monona86731
Greene80011
Osceola79517
Lucas78323
Worth7648
Taylor67112
Decatur6649
Fremont64910
Van Buren57318
Ringgold57124
Wayne56623
Audubon53613
Adams3504
Unassigned80
Rochester
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Mason City
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Albert Lea
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